GOAL’s Arsenal correspondent Charles Watts has suggested a possible reason which could prevent William Saliba from staying at the club.
Saliba was signed as an 18-year-old by former Gunners boss Unai Emery in the summer of 2019 and immediately sent on loan to St Etienne for the season but he is yet to make a senior appearance for the club.
Now 21, Saliba the 2020/21 season on loan at Nice and was sent back to France with Marseille at the start of the campaign just finished and was named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year.
He made 36 league appearances as OM finished second and qualified for the Champions League and Mikel Arteta has hinted that he will return to north London for the start of the new campaign.
However, in a breakout season that has seen the talented centre-back make his full France debut, Watts has suggested that the player will be looking for guaranteed starting time with the World Cup approaching in December.
Speaking on his YouTube channel he said:
“He will want to be at the World Cup now, he’s got every chance of being at the World Cup if he continues to play so that’s going to be key thing when they all sit down together this summer and work out exactly what is going to go on with Saliba.”
Will William Saliba play for Arsenal next season?
TIF Thoughts on Saliba and Arsenal…
Arteta saw his preferred starting duo of Gabriel and Ben White both pick up injuries towards the end of the season with only Rob Holding to cover so Saliba would be assured of game time especially with Europa League games to contend with as well.
Furthermore, if he can keep up the form he showed in his native country he may even be able to dislodge the current pairing.
His pass success rate of 93.1% in Ligue 1 matches this season beats both Gabriel 89.5% and Ben White 84.6% meaning that at the least he offers very reliable cover if not an improvement on what the Gunners currently have.